Musical Playlists: We all have them. Right?
Of course we do. Whether it’s iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify or whateverify there are countless options, and we all use them to get through the daily grind. The commute, the day job, to drown out the annoying, you name it.
Or, on the positive flip side:
The dance time with the kids! (My personal favourite, not that my singing is popular.)
Playlists are an unspoken lifeblood of modern society and as an author something I use every day. I’ve talked about them before, but it was only this evening that I realised I have two very distinctive moods and two unique playlists to accommodate these moods.
When I say moods, I mean writing moods.
One focused and inspired, where I know the exact scene I’m writing. How it’ll start and end, generally I let the middle flow, but these are the days the words fly out and have an order that drives my current WIP.
Then there are the days, which are unfortunately the more frequent, where I get bogged down in the murky middle of a story. Where inspiration is short, I don’t know where a character needs to go or how he or she will get there. These are the days I’m lost and verge on severe bouts of anxiety to get words out. I feel guilty and then pound out ten pointless tweets and an Instagram post to make myself feel like I’m doing something to promote and further my fledgeling author career.
It’s on these days that I let the music loose, and try my damnedest to relax. I kid you not, I’ve just listened to ‘You’re Welcome’ by The Rock and am now this very second, listening to ‘Hot Stuff’ by Donna Summer. Ah and as I move into the next sentence the soulful, utterly cheeky sounds of ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ by Quincy Jones are coming on. Now, this is living. My taste in music is random and older.
But those songs and so many like them, a beat, a bit of heart and fun do wonders for my state of mind, and then some words come out. Often their garbage, they don’t further the story, and then they’re promptly binned. But I learned something with those words. I learned a path a character shouldn’t go, which often leads me to the right track…
Back to inspired, and planned.
I’m a combination of plotter and panster.
I want to move more over to plotter, more than anything for my mental health. I do struggle with a blank screen and the depression it can sometimes bring on. I’ve only been self-published for ten months now and in that time have found my writing speed has slowed, cripplingly at times, due to fear of not knowing where I’m going with a story. Then guilt sets in. I have a day job, which is okay but it’s not what I want to do the rest of my life. I want to be an indie author, and that goal is sometimes destructive in the present as I know I’m going to need 10, 15 more likely 20 books before I ever get to a level of earnings that’ll sustain me. So yeah plotting is the future, map out a series before even touching it.
Which neatly brings me back to inspired, and planned.
These are the days where I listen to movie soundtracks and artists without words. Film scores, classical music, dramatic music than embeds into your brain until you’re writing out the scene as if you were in the very action itself.
A few examples:
Two Steps From Hell – probably my favourite artists of all time, Blackheart –my favourite song of all time for sure
Ramin Djawadi – Game of Thrones Light Of The Seven is a writers dream. Likewise the theme tune of GoT and Westworld.
The list could go on forever and forever, but the point is both playlists serve a purpose for very different reasons and keep me moving forward, which is all anyone can ask for. And hey, random upbeat, fun playlist got me through a blog post of 800+ words. That’s something right?
I’ve struggled with a blog, four posts in ten months is shocking, and it’s something I’m hoping to put right this summer.
Here’s hoping and if you’re interested in what I’m up to I’m currently plugging away on a Kickstarter campaign to help secure funding for the second book in The Mutant Rain series: The Fall.
Link below. Any backs are much appreciated and will help me move the series forwards faster than I ever could on my own. The community vibes I’m getting from becoming, and indie author are amazing, I didn’t expect to meet and speak to so many likeminded people – both authors and readers alike. Interacting with both groups has easily been one of the most enjoyable aspects are attempting to launch an author career.
Thank you, and to steal my three-year-old son’s catchphrase at the moment…
Nice to meet you. :D